Who Needs Classical Music?

Posted by: Markyboard

Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 08:21 AM

Book Link

This is a short read, a bit annoying at times, repetitive but still well worth it imo. Some will like it, some won't. I'm finding that it answers a number of questions for me personally including why I find myself at odds and so annoyed with the general concert/show going experience (it's not you, it's me freak). That and the concept of music's purposes and challenging the idea that "valid" music comes down to our subjective tastes.
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 08:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Markyboard
(it's not you, it's me freak)


Was it something I said?
Posted by: Markyboard

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
(it's not you, it's me freak)


Was it something I said?



Well if you said it during a concert I was at, then yeah.
blah taz grin
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 09:05 AM

Nah, that was Joe.
Posted by: JerryA

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 09:13 AM

One of my pleasures is Talk Classical. Some of the old guys were pretty hip ....



Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 09:51 AM

I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.
Posted by: CowboyNQ

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 10:25 AM

Super interesting share, Mark.

Based on the synopsis, the book’s premise is pretty much diametrically opposed to my own view. I don’t dislike classical music but I struggle to see what all the fuss is about in a contemporary context.

I think my lack of “appropriate” appreciation for classical music stems from my solid dislike of learning it to pass exams as a little bloke. I didn’t really start enjoying my piano lessons properly until my teacher introduced me to Lennon/McCartney.

However this makes me want to read the book to understand the author’s argument more. Think I’ll check it out.
Posted by: timwat

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 10:34 AM

Who's the "our" in "our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music"?

I ask that rather tongue in cheek, as I presume you're referring to some amalgam of institutions (formal and informal), academia and wealthy patronage or something like that.

But I'm wading in because 1) I'm not going to buy the book cited in the OP...too much reading to catch up as it is, and 2) I personally grew up on classical piano lessons and dearly love some classical music to this day, for very personal reasons.

Inarguably, classical music demands more of the listener than other genres. It is more difficult to 'get it' without prior familiarity, and much of it doesn't reward 'casual' wall paper listening in the same ways that some pop, ambient, etc. may.

But I might suggest it also rewards focused investment of time and attention in emotional and...dare I say...spiritual (or rather, transcendent?) ways that (for me), no other genre quite does.

Of course, I don't think it's the genre alone, but the superlative genius of Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and others which the writing gives wings to. But the marriage of compositional genius, genre-specific vocabulary, passion and spirit - and having 'something to say' - renders (to my ear) beauty, pathos, and emotional content that is unique (or at least, very very rare) in the arts.

Whether contemporary institutions have any part in unspoken nostalgia for white dominance...well, that's simply out of my pay grade to comment on.

I love and adore classical music, although I cannot play it very well. I think it is needed more now than ever to stand in the chaotic village square of our times, and pay testament to beauty and the long pursuit of a thing well done.
Posted by: Bobadohshe

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 10:35 AM

Mark thank you for sharing. I am really intrigued and went to Audible straight away to look for an audio book version (how I consume the majority of my books these days). Alas they don't have it. I'll get it out from the library and enjoy the old fashioned way.
Posted by: BenWaB3

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 10:45 AM

Originally Posted By: BenWaB3
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.


Ya, that's the prevailing view, and the one it pisses people off to challenge.
Posted by: Legatoboy

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 11:19 AM

The guy I study with, who also teaches classical beside jazz and who is Be-bop era guy (78 or so) said..."we all love classical music to play and listen to but it's truly innately corrupted music because it written and so 'fixed'" .... now he's a real died in wool 'improvisor' for sure.... but he works out a lot of classical music though I tell you for the other half of his students and he does enjoy it he tells me but he never forgets he says it not expressive for the player except in regard to interpretation..it takes more to be an improvisor and he says it's a higher art...I tend to agree.. he gave me classical as an aid to my jazz studies and I still play classical myself to some degree... he has some interesting ideas about it... 1st one to really bring home the point much classical music was gotten to through improvisation prior to the Neo-Classical period. . .
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 12:38 PM

"I went through a lot of mental pains and anguish about choosing between jazz and classical. I realized that where I functioned was where I should be, and where I functioned was in jazz, so that was it."

Bill Evans

I haven't agonized to the extent of Bill but I have been playing Classical my whole life and still diligently work on the Chopin and Debussy Etudes, as well as occasionally on the the Bach WTC books 1 &2.

But I do function better, and more "at home" in the Jazz/improvisational world. I certainly don't consider myself a "classical pianist" by any means.
Posted by: Redknife

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 12:51 PM

Appears to be an interesting read. I read the first bits so far and will complete out of interest. I already disagree with a number of assertions in the book, but that's cool! It gets me thinking about my views and why I hold those views.
After a certain age, I have been fascinated with the big questions about music. One of the aspects of this forum that I like is that we are all passionate about music (I think). Some of my favorite discussions in life have involved arguing the relative merits of an artist or music. I love that the validity of music is impossible to define yet worthy of countless passionate opinions.
Posted by: zukskywalker

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 01:27 PM


Quote:
Inarguably, classical music demands more of the listener than other genres. It is more difficult to 'get it' without prior familiarity, and much of it doesn't reward 'casual' wall paper listening in the same ways that some pop, ambient, etc. may.

But I might suggest it also rewards focused investment of time and attention in emotional and...dare I say...spiritual (or rather, transcendent?) ways that (for me), no other genre quite does.



So, if we substitute jazz for classical music in this statement does the same apply?

That and many folks argue that Jazz is America’s true classical music.
Posted by: Tom Williams

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 01:34 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.
I don't know how pissed I would be, but I am pretty sure that, were I in the room, I would express an unflattering assessment of your intelligence.
Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


Well, that is a really tainted and racist view. It must be tough living with that mindset. Do you also believe that a love of jazz is based on a desire for black dominance? Does a love a synthesizers and electronic music go back to supporting the alliance of Japan and Germany in WW2? Is this based on self deprecation, or a total lack of understanding of the history of music around the world? If you grew up in India or China would you have the same feelings about the historical music of those regions which is just as alive and popular there as classical is here?

I personally would not be pissed off. I don't waste my time arguing with ignorance.
Posted by: J_tour

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:16 PM

All right, since it's on to inflammatory concepts, here's some that I think are true:

(i) a classical musician who doesn't know how to improvise idiomatically is not an actual musician. Studying the scores and recordings is just as important as it is in any other music, but if you just play transcriptions note-for-note, it's nothing more than a party trick. In some cases a very lucrative, creative one, but it's like buying a "saw the lady in half" trick from a magic shop.

(ii) American music (jazz, blues, rock, and all the others) isn't anything without the European art music tradition. Maybe you can make some EDM without tradition, but I've never met anyone worthwhile who considers that a worthwhile pursuit, as a scholar or listener.
Posted by: EscapeRocks

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: RABid


I personally would not be pissed off. I don't waste my time arguing with ignorance.


like
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:35 PM

J_tour said:

“i) a classical musician who doesn't know how to improvise idiomatically is not an actual musician. Studying the scores and recordings is just as important as it is in any other music, but if you just play transcriptions note-for-note, it's nothing more than a party trick. In some cases a very lucrative, creative one, but it's like buying a "saw the lady in half" trick from a magic shop.”

I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:38 PM

LOL. Yep, no one sounds pissed off about that at all.

See?

facepalm
Posted by: EricBarker

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:39 PM

On the subject of being demanding of the listener, I think most instrumental music immediately becomes more demanding than lyrical music. The moment you add text, the musical content takes a back seat and doesn't really need to hold people's attention as much. It has more concrete meaning, is easier to make judgements about, and is grounded in day-to-day human interaction, rather than the abstraction of raw instrumentation.

It's hard to really say that classical music is particularly any more or less demanding than jazz, or some instrumental rock (jam bands, instrumental guitar, etc). And I would say classical opera is a good deal less demanding. Though I would say things with less harmonic and rhythmic complexity are typically less demanding. New Age is largely instrumental, but it's mostly background music, not really meant to demand much attention at all.

The one major exception is instrumental dance music (again, irregardless of genre). Be it EDM, Appalachian Square Dance, or Johann Strauss.
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 02:43 PM

J_tour said:

“ii) American music (jazz, blues, rock, and all the others) isn't anything without the European art music tradition. Maybe you can make some EDM without tradition, but I've never met anyone worthwhile who considers that a worthwhile pursuit, as a scholar or listener.”

I said:

Um, NO.....American music (jazz, blues, rock) is a FUSION of EUROPEAN HARMONY with African rythmic and melodic concepts .... plus something indefinable... the experience of the forcibly transplanted African and his descendants in America.

If there would be no European harmony, jazz would sound like Fela and Manu Dibsngo and blues would sound like Junior Kimbrough. Rock would sound like the Kasai Allstars
Posted by: Markyboard

Re: Who Needs Classical Music - 02/08/19 03:13 PM

This book's emphasis is on listening to music as opposed to playing it although there are obvious overlaps that he addresses. What I found most interesting was the way music is so entwined in our cultural practices and technology (recorded music) and his attempt to strip this all away addressing only the music itself. I also like how he compares music to other art forms - very revealing with things I never thought of before. I think everyone will find something of value in this book. To me it's important to understand what function music fulfills in our lives. How many times have I read here that a band's goal is to get people on the dance floor In order to sell more drinks? Or that no one in the audience even knows the keyboardist is up there? Or that Tony Banks looks bored because he's not dancing around like a Gorilla? These are all valid points given the expectation of the listener, only as the author points out its way more about the visual with music as background.
.

I knew this 40 years ago- it's why I hate playing for audiences. But that's just me and btw no aspersions cast on those who do like this scene and great respect to those making a living on it. But this is not about the music itself.

So get pissed at each other, agree or disagree with the author, assume what it's about, hate classical music or love it, feel superior or get defensive. I'm going to a rock concert tomorrow night ( Joe Jackson), hopefully with a new attitude.
Posted by: EricBarker

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 03:16 PM

I think 20th-century American music is one of the greatest artistic creoles ever created. It's the ultimate testament to the complexities of cultural fusion. The struggle of black America to gain acceptance while maintaining their cultural identity, and the discovery rhythmic complexity by western audiences and musicians. It's so much more than "West African meets European Classical", and now you hear it dominating all over the world and seeping into all parts of life. It probably has more cultural significance than the atomic bomb, the personal computer, and the internet combined!
Posted by: Redknife

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 03:19 PM

Interestingly, the author delves into nearly every point of contention on this thread, albeit in a less charged way. Give it a read! The book does require some patience (me- “that’s crap”; ok let me keep reading) Pause, think , reflect: its that kind of book.
Posted by: David Emm

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 03:45 PM

Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
J_tour said:

.....American music (jazz, blues, rock) is a FUSION of EUROPEAN HARMONY with African rythmic and melodic concepts .... plus something indefinable... the experience of the forcibly transplanted African and his descendants in America.

If there would be no European harmony, jazz would sound like Fela and Manu Dibsngo and blues would sound like Junior Kimbrough. Rock would sound like the Kasai Allstars

HEAR! HEAR! Without the numerous historical threads of blues and R&B, there'd be no Rolling Stones or Elvis as we know them. R&B doesn't come from Memphis, Tennessee; it comes from Soweto, South Africa. Also, nothing on Earth beats a whole African village singing in harmony, period. like
Posted by: David Emm

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 03:48 PM


Sheesh, talk about hauling coal to Newcastle! Classical music is a time capsule of a certain range of eras. To me, it clearly expresses the angles from which the composers saw and felt their times. None of us could manage such work, in part because we rarely know anything near real silence. Most of the earlier legendary practitioners knew little else, life in a few city settings excepted. It makes a profound difference in the musical outcome. Even orchestral film composers, who help to keep the classical idioms going, are still subject to both the obvious and more subtle stresses of our time.

More importantly, classical exposes you to romanticism, odd moments of counterpoint, a sense of instrumental ranges, the dance between subtlety and bombast, etc., etc. Its what primed me to later appreciate jazz, R&B, prog, ethnic folk musics and much more. Bach is classical, but IMO, so is Gershwin, in a sense. They're both highly important to me, just like Gentle Giant. In fact, I'd go so far as to call Philip Glass and Steve Reich classical, due to the inspired form factor and fascinating discipline involved.

If you try to remove any of them from my hall of heroes, I'll fight you like a tanked-up, 6'3" Sid Vicious surrogate and I will leave a mark. Its only fair.

I need classical music because sometimes, nothing but some Ligeti or Saint-Saens "Organ" Symphony will do. Enjoying the high bars they set gives me the impetus to woodshed a bit harder.
Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 03:49 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Yep, no one sounds pissed off about that at all.

See?

facepalm


Nope. I realize that you really want us to be, but that is another "issue" entirely. More than anything it is just curiosity. Why do you have such a need to piss people off? You have demonstrated it several times on the forum, and now you brag about doing it to a room full of people. I'm not pissed. I'm just wondering why? Maybe it is my 20+ years working in the mental health field that drives my curiosity.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 04:22 PM

LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.
Posted by: Marillo

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 04:49 PM

Are you 12?
Posted by: drawback

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 04:58 PM

Well, to lighten things up a bit, the answer to the original question, “Who needs classical music?” is my neighbour.

Without it, he can’t play a thing.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Posted by: Mark Schmieder

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 06:24 PM

I can't really enter this conversation in any meaningful way, because the topic so ticks me off.

You see, I am quite lucky to live in an area that is quite possibly one of a dozen or so around the world that simply do NOT play to conventions. So it is a moot point here.

So-called "classical music" sells out consistently here, and audiences are younger each year. I think that is either testimony to the approach taken (it is an evolving art form, like jazz and indeed pop/rock/etc.), or possibly a reflection of a more open-minded and worldly population group.

The anti-elitist in me says it can't be the second, and that therefore a bit more daring on the part of other programmers might increase their audiences accordingly.

Possibly L.A. has been taking a lead from S.F. the past few years, based on the programming of the LA Opera under Placido Domingo, and even the LA Phil (though we are lucky enough to get their former conductor and now composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, as the leader of the SFO when MTT retires).

My brother in Boston can vouch for how conservative NYC is as he goes there several times a month (though mostly for ballet, which is a passion shared by the whole family). Boston itself is kind of half-rigid, half-flexible, depending on the specific performing arts organization in question.
Posted by: Mark Schmieder

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 06:26 PM

When I retire, the one and only non-negotiable criterion is that the area has a strong collection of "classical" performing arts organizations, with a modernist approach.

It is for this reason that I have long considered Argentina a possible target, and have to unfortunately dismiss a country that I otherwise love and know others who have retired to (Thailand).
Posted by: Markyboard

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder

So-called "classical music" sells out consistently here



Ironically the author presents the same notion - no different than other pop music in this respect.
Posted by: Markay

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 06:57 PM

I have never taken an either/or position on any genre of music. As a long time subsciber to our local Brandenburg orchestra which exclusively uses baroque era instruments, I see our 5 concert season each year as an opportunity to immerse myself for 2 hours in well known, sometimes rarely performed works and on several occasions a world first time performance with improvistion if the manuscript is incomplete.

But the founder and director takes an eclectic approach to each years program. So we have seen the orchestra provide music to on stage circus acrobatics, old and new spanish and the south american music, sometimes with dance, and a program featuring surfi muslim music accompanying dervish performance.

They have also done Max Richter's 4 Seasons recomposed with Moog on stage so quite a broad range of musical exposure to music from western and other cultures.

But I also enjoy going to ACDC and Yes concerts, reggae and anything in between.

I long ago read the interpretive body of knowldege about the classical pieces I had to study and perform to pass the exam. Since then interest in, and my regard for, the opinions of those who write on the importance and cultural relevance of each genre of music has diminished with each passing year.

I enjoy the arts from any period and will enjoy the Tate's pre- raphaelite exhibition at our National gallery next weekend.

To me it is simply exploring the historical foundation on which current and future music and art evolves. It is an emotional connection, intellectualising how someone feels about and projecting it as the way others feel is a waste of time.
Posted by: J_tour

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 07:33 PM

Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
=I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould


Pretty sure both of them, as well as any other competent musician, could improvise just fine, if they felt like it. How somebody else makes their living is not anything I care deeply about, as long as it doesn't offend me.

At the very least, I've never heard of a composer of European art music who wasn't an extremely capable improviser.

But, to put it in another way, how serious would anyone take somebody who played some transcriptions of Bud Powell solos at a jam session?

Or somebody who, while performing a Beethoven sonata just decided to noodle around for a few bars without a good reason?

No reason to get serious about it.
Posted by: Tom Williams

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 09:00 PM

My take on classical music (not related to my take on MOI smile ): I've been brought to tears by both jazz (Woody Herman) and prog rock (ELP) but neither can cause the consistent jaw-dropping ass-kicking amazement that I get from Beethoven's 9th, or Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra, or Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

I am a competent rock / pop / country / perhaps jazz musician, who happened to have had a couple of years studying "serious" music in college. I have stood in awe of a pianist who could sight-read Beethoven -- with heart -- who was in turn amazed that I could hear stuff on the radio and immediately play it without any music in front of me.

Fast forward a few decades, and I have a buddy who is a classical fl[a]utist, who can play spheres around Ian Anderson, can literally play anything you put in front of him -- and who, if his salvation depended upon improvisation, would eventually burn in Hell.

Finally getting to my point: the achievement of a group of around 100 musicians, none of whom can hear the whole thing that is going on, to play ensemble music from the mid 1700s to (say) the mid-20th century, all the while being herded by a conductor in such a way as to provide a unified musical experience for the audience, is way beyond that group of 3-6 people playing their various instruments together. No matter how well they (we) do it.
Posted by: davedoerfler

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: J_tour

No reason to get serious about it.


yeah, Mark, look what you started Python
Posted by: Bobadohshe

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


I absolutely love classical music. I listen to it more than I listen to any other genre. And to be completely honest over the years I have also had to wrestle with a little bit of what MOI has said here. He phrases his point a bit more bluntly and perhaps incompletely than I would but I don't think his point should be waived away without consideration.

When I listen to Bach I do visualize the great composer sitting at an organ in an empty cathedral in the early 1700s. When I listen to Hadyn I do think about his great gig as Kapellmeister for the duke of Esterhazy in that incredible palace in the woods where he got to write music all day for a private orchestra. I picture the servants, the splendor, the pomp and circumstance; and it is indeed part of the romance of it all. When I listen to Chopin I picture him in Paris in small salon recitals for rich Parisians on some dusty afternoon. With Debussy I see the 19th century Seine under the moonlight. Rachmaninoff, some cold Russian morning where he is practicing piano at 7 AM while snow lays on the ground.

All those images of the pinnacle of European beauty are romanticized and attractive. I confess they are part of the allure for me. And yet, to put it simply, that world was one fraught with horrendous problems of every social kind. Therefore I say the issue might at least warrant some pause and consideration. It really does.

Fortunately the very power of this music is that it is both of the era that it was written, and transcendent beyond it. Symphony musicians play Beethoven and we are simultaneously transported back to 1805, fully in the present, and fully in an eternal place where we are connected to every performance of that same piece and the monumental achievement that this piece was conceived of and put to paper. To me the symphony orchestra, while arising from a society fraught with injustice, is STILL one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Is that exaggeration? Not to me. It can stir visceral reactions that have nothing to do with European dominance. A vast and varied array of instruments made of wood and metal and each with an ancient heritage and evolution are brought together as one and manipulated to achieve harmony. It's almost a miracle.

So I say Classical Music is vital, wonderful and indispensable. But like all things, it warrants a deeper look as we analyze our own feelings about it and ask ourselves why we love it.
Posted by: El Lobo

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/08/19 11:45 PM

Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 02:44 AM

Originally Posted By: J_tour
Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
=I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould


Pretty sure both of them, as well as any other competent musician, could improvise just fine, if they felt like it. How somebody else makes their living is not anything I care deeply about, as long as it doesn't offend me.

At the very least, I've never heard of a composer of European art music who wasn't an extremely capable improviser.

But, to put it in another way, how serious would anyone take somebody who played some transcriptions of Bud Powell solos at a jam session?

Or somebody who, while performing a Beethoven sonata just decided to noodle around for a few bars without a good reason?

No reason to get serious about it.


Starting your first statement with “pretty sure” doesnt bode well for the veracity of the statements that follow. Logic 101.
As a matter of historical fact, GG did some of what SOUNDED like improvising in some of his telvised lectures. But knowing his method of working, I’m not so sure it was such. Richter did not improvise but composed a bit privately.
There was a split between improvising and interpretation that started to happen after Beethoven, it grew during the Romantic era, as composer like Chopin and Liszt refined and codified their improvisations

You must not have studied much music past Debussy, then, if you havent heard of European Art Music Composers who didnt improvise....

Your points about “someone” playing Bud transcritions at a jam session or “noodling around” in the middle of a Beethoven Sonata are just logical fallacies.
Again Logic 101. A+B=C does not mean C+B=A

And as far as being too serious....
As Dizzy Gillespie said”Men have DIED for this music”
I for one, take my profession and its public perception or MISperception VERY seriously.

Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 02:48 AM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.


Not getting worked up. Just trying to be honest. Your need to antagonize others only hurts you. It is something you need to hear. I say it because I care.
Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 02:52 AM

I can say that learning to play classical piano taught me to orchestrate, play multiple parts at once, and generally improved my ability to manage a stack of keyboards. I remember trying out for my first "big" band. The reaction was "Dude! You can play with both hands. Different parts!" My thought was that compared to a Bach 3 part this stuff is easy. smile
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 03:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RABid
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.


Not getting worked up. Just trying to be honest. Your need to antagonize others only hurts you. It is something you need to hear. I say it because I care.


Good on you for calling it out with compassion, RABid.
Posted by: Polychrest

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: BenWaB3
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.


A few years ago, a legendary Toronto blues guitarist and respected musicologist told a national CBC audience that opera was "the professional wrestling of classical music." It was a throwaway line, but he got an avalanche of spluttering ad hominem abuse for weeks afterward from offended opera aficionados. Some took up the gauntlet he'd thrown down and challenged the essence of his assertion; most just quacked that he's an idiot doing the critical equivalent of pissing on a portrait of the Queen.

Some poorly aimed urine in this thread from ducks with overly sensitive bladders, methinks.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 08:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Polychrest
A few years ago, a legendary Toronto blues guitarist and respected musicologist told a national CBC audience that opera was "the professional wrestling of classical music." It was a throwaway line, but he got an avalanche of spluttering ad hominem abuse for weeks afterward from offended opera aficionados. Some took up the gauntlet he'd thrown down and challenged the essence of his assertion; most just quacked that he's an idiot doing the critical equivalent of pissing on a portrait of the Queen.

Some poorly aimed urine in this thread from people with overly sensitive bladders, methinks.


Similar to the firestorm Stephen Pinker caused when he said, "I suspect that music is the equivalent of auditory cheesecake"--that is, lovely but utterly unnecessary to the human condition. Musicologists went apoplectic.

I'll use this perceptive post to indirectly address RABid and some of the other urinators.

We all meet in the context of just one of our facets--the keyboard-playing facet.

Then we all go back into daily life where we live multi-faceted realities.

It wasn't music that brought me to SoCal ten years ago. It was a PhD. In my case, the underlying focus was the intersection of race and American music.

I almost never talk about it here, maybe once or twice, but in addition to gigging and private lessons, I teach college. I teach a variety of topics, all of which orbit the central theme of race and music in one way or another. I teach or have taught the history of jazz and the history of the Blues, both of which are inseparable from the history of race in the US. I have taught the history of Hip-Hop--ditto. I teach a history of Western (European) music, and a World Music class. The next thing this computer will be used for after finishing this post, is putting slides together for my next World Music class.

Just under the surface of these latter topics--Western Music and World Music--is the discussion of what we mean by "the world," and even of "music." That's a complicated topic that I won't go into here, but safe to say most people's comfortable understandings are not complete.

Therefore, in my daily, non-KC life, I spend an awful lot of my time on the very incendiary issue of race and music, and believe me I know it has the potential to make comfortable people very uncomfortable and even defensive and reactionary, which is what happened here.

When my "race and music" facet has broken through into into my "KC" zone--as it has maybe three or four times before here--the response is never good. It's not the right forum for nuanced challenges to racialist expectations, and it pushes the whole conversation into a bad place. People get defensive and nasty, I retreat instead of educate, and I regret it each time it happens.

But it's not because I am trying to rile anyone up. It's only a controversial statement to those it's controversial to, if that makes sense. In everyday life, and the people I spend most time with, a statement like that is either immediately apprehended, or met with curiosity and a constructive and educated conversation. I don't drop it here because it's incendiary, I drop it here because, well 1) it's demonstrably true, if difficult to hear, but also 2) it's something I spend most of my non-KC time working on, and it sometimes sort of pops out here uninvited.

If you and I go for a beer--well, beer for you and club soda for me--we will spend 97% of the time talking about KC banninated topics--politics, religion, and race relations--and 3% of the time talking about keyboards.

I know I should preserve only that 3% for posts here, but I have Nerd Tourette's, and if there is a "color" to something that an additional angle might reveal, it pushes its way out of my face and joins the conversation, whether I want it to or not.

That's the best I can do to address this. If anyone's interested in conversation about it, I invite you to use the messaging system here. I obviously do not mind the topic, and would be glad to flesh it out with anyone so inclined. As for the long-distance mental-health diagnoses...cute but unnecessary. Reexamining common social understandings is not a mental health issue, it's a hazard of the trade for certain fields of academic and social discipline. We just don't like to have it pushed on us, and I apologize for the push.
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: El Lobo
Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.


Precisely.

With a pizza, of course. laugh
Posted by: hurricane hugo

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 07:59 PM

I do.

Just not all the time.
Posted by: davedoerfler

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 09:25 PM

.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 09:55 PM

Thanks, sunshine!
Posted by: mate stubb

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/09/19 11:22 PM

I don't need Classical music.

But my life would be barren indeed without Baroque. Bach wrote down the most amazing and sublime music I have ever heard. It gives me great joy to play his easier pieces, and something to aspire to with his more complicated pieces.

I'm damn glad it was written down so that it wasn't lost in the mists of time. As for being able to improvise, it was well known that old Johann could smoke everybody in a cutting contest, improvising complex fugues on the spot.
Posted by: Sospiri

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/10/19 10:03 AM

Would someone give Mr George Gershwin a call, please? I'm sure he would have some definite views on this topic :-)
Posted by: Wastrel

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
As for the long-distance mental-health diagnoses...cute but unnecessary. Reexamining common social understandings is not a mental health issue, it's a hazard of the trade for certain fields of academic and social discipline. We just don't like to have it pushed on us, and I apologize for the push.

I think it is a shame that you were made to feel that you HAD to apologize. Making a provocative statement to foster discourse doesn't indicate mental illness IMO.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 10:35 AM

WTF are you members talking about?
It never ceases to amaze, how humans make shit up about nothing.

Classical music is often awesome music, with very little in other areas of music, to compare.
WHat the hell do idiots' concern about racism or the wars that went on in the residence of a composer have to do with anything?

Education can be a good thing, but since todays education is involved with issues that are conjured in the minds of oversensitive twits... I do not give a damn about an SJW's or postmodernists opinions about music, any music.
Posted by: BluMunk

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 10:58 AM

MathOfInsects is exactly right, and Bobadohshe articulated it quite well.

Whether or not there's an objective truth to the beauty of the music of a given composer or era, it's hard to deny that much of classical music "culture" and the enshrinement of classical study as a pinnacle of musicianship is of course rooted in classist, racist, sexist and [fill-in-the-blank]-ist attitudes about the value of art from different sources.

I had a conversation with a collaborator just last week who told me about work she did with a classical music program for an underprivileged population, and how she even helped them to purchase and practice walking in heels, so they could compete at auditions with musicians from more wealthy backgrounds/programs.

Think about that for a second. This is a genre in which more often than not participation at even semi-professional levels requires an expensive, gender-specific wardrobe and a projection of upper-class sophistication. You can't play this music if you don't have the right clothes.

I know we don't do politics here, and I'm not trying to make an argument that we should scrap the system or anything like that. But music is the heartbeat of culture, and we should always strive to understand the cultural implications of the work that we do.
Posted by: El Lobo

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 11:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: El Lobo
Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.

Precisely.

With a pizza, of course. laugh

with or without anchovies?
Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 11:33 AM

Classical music is not racist. Some people in classical music are racists. There is a big difference. That is like saying jazz is racist because Wynton Marsallis is on record for saying white people cannot play jazz. Or saying southern rock is racist because some people in the south are racist. Well, I have news for you, there are racist people in the north. There are racist people in rock and roll and Hollywood. There are racist people in Japan and India and all over the world. Every location. Every field of work. When you blindly group everyone into the same cesspool you are bound to get dirty yourself.
Posted by: BluMunk

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 12:08 PM

Good thing that no one here has said that "classical music is racist."

I suggested that the reasons classical music sits at the apex of cultural respect are rooted in racism (and a lot of other isms too), which basically correlates to your second sentence, so I'm glad we agree on that front.

I am not suggesting that the genre itself is racist, nor would I even know what that meant.

I am also not suggesting that other art forms or genres don't have their own cultural baggage to come to terms with, or at least acknowledge. Of course they do.

I am also not suggesting that we throw away or stop loving classical music (or jazz, or southern rock, or whatever) just because there are things about their history that deserve scrutiny.

Also, until my post above, no one called anything "racist" in this thread except for you, RABid. I'm not sure what you're ranting against, but it's not any position that anyone has taken in this thread. But I'm sure all the observers who thought that Japan and India were racist-free appreciate the education.

Also, if you want to get sanctimonious about "getting dirty" and grouping people into "cesspools," maybe consider whether calling other posters ignorant and racist is the best position to stake out when calling for others to not use the dirty "r" word.

All art is contextual. Acknowledging and thinking about that context, good and bad, does not detract from the art, or mean the art is worthless. I'm not sure why the act of doing so strikes such a nerve.
Posted by: RABid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


Originally Posted By: BluMunk
... it's hard to deny that much of classical music "culture" and the enshrinement of classical study as a pinnacle of musicianship is of course rooted in classist, racist, sexist and [fill-in-the-blank]-ist attitudes ...


Originally Posted By: BluMunk
... no one called anything "racist" in this thread except for you, RABid. I'm not sure what you're ranting against, ...


Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: BluMunk
Good thing that no one here has said that "classical music is racist."

I suggested that the reasons classical music sits at the apex of cultural respect are rooted in racism (and a lot of other isms too), which basically correlates to your second sentence, so I'm glad we agree on that front.

I am not suggesting that the genre itself is racist, nor would I even know what that meant.

I am also not suggesting that other art forms or genres don't have their own cultural baggage to come to terms with, or at least acknowledge. Of course they do.

I am also not suggesting that we throw away or stop loving classical music (or jazz, or southern rock, or whatever) just because there are things about their history that deserve scrutiny.

Also, until my post above, no one called anything "racist" in this thread except for you, RABid. I'm not sure what you're ranting against, but it's not any position that anyone has taken in this thread. But I'm sure all the observers who thought that Japan and India were racist-free appreciate the education.

Also, if you want to get sanctimonious about "getting dirty" and grouping people into "cesspools," maybe consider whether calling other posters ignorant and racist is the best position to stake out when calling for others to not use the dirty "r" word.

All art is contextual. Acknowledging and thinking about that context, good and bad, does not detract from the art, or mean the art is worthless. I'm not sure why the act of doing so strikes such a nerve.


Why does it strike a nerve ? Look up "Dynamic Projection"
Posted by: BluMunk

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 12:57 PM

I said I didn’t say “classical music is racist,” and then reiterated that I am saying that institutions that enshrine classical music have raciat and classist elements.

I then pointed out the irony of you mis-quoting me (or others) as calling “classical music racist”, accusing them (me) of wallowing in a “cesspool” by calling classical music racist (which I did not) when you yourself were the first person here to hurl that word, not at a poor defenseless musical genre, but at another poster to this forum.

Anyway, if it makes it any clearer, let me say: classical music is not racist. And you can quote me on that. Mozart’s piano concerto no 21 is not racist. Bach’s two part inventions are not racist. I couldn’t even make sense of the sentence “fur elise is racist.” It’s a nonsense sentence, and the sooner you realise it’s a strawman concept that you’ve invented the sooner you can let go of the illogic of your own invention.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 01:04 PM

This Fly on the KC wall.

CG Jung's observation, people do not have ideas, rather, ideas have people.... has never resonated more true for me than this nonsense thread.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Wastrel
I think it is a shame that you were made to feel that you HAD to apologize. Making a provocative statement to foster discourse doesn't indicate mental illness IMO.


Thank you. I was apologizing for pushing the discourse into an area whose response is already known to me to be both inevitable and bad here. That is sincere. This topic just doesn't work here, and I know that by now.

I'm happy to talk about this stuff via messenger. Saying it "out loud" here brings out the worst in people, as we are still seeing, and as anyone who saw Davedorfler's now-deleted message more than saw.
Posted by: timwat

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 01:33 PM

I'm not familiar with the term "dynamic projection" apart from mapping, but have heard of the principle of 'projection' in psychology (loosely defined, a defense mechanism of refusing certain negative attributes in yourself while attributing them to others). Perhaps we're talking about the same thing.

Back to the topic at hand (and perhaps this is an unwelcome beating of the proverbial horse), I can understand the premise that classical music (like other fine art forms) benefits in the US from substantial patronage commitments from the wealthy. Here in the SF Bay Area, folks like Mark and I are fortunate to enjoy the SF Symphony, the SF Ballet and the SF Opera. We also have a diverse, thriving theater community which requires substantial private funding too.

By definition, funding for these things (as well as jazz radio, now that I think of it) will come from people with discretionary income who value these institutions in their lives. The reasons these things are valuable to an individual or a family may take familiar forms, and they also may include a wide swath of more personal motives.

I'm not sure I'd describe the ongoing support of the arts in the SF Bay Area as either stubborn or ritualistic. Someone else gets to assign those pejoratives to other people's behavior. Me, I'm glad that some folks who can afford it persist (or, are stubborn?) to allow me to take my gorgeous wife to Bach and Mendelssohn on Friday for a belated Valentine's Day celebration.

More salient, I don't reach the conclusion that "unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world" serves as a primary motive for the wealthy's support of our arts in the Bay Area. While I'm not wealthy, anecdotally I have enough wealthy friends and acquaintances to understand how class distinctions play heavily into worldview and value assessments (which then precipitate as patronage decisions).

For some, their family has ALWAYS supported these institutions ("It's what we do..."). For others, they have their own great history, experiences and love for certain forms ("As a little girl I dreamed of being a ballerina..."). Yet others get philosophical (and class-bound?) about it ("The fine arts keeps the intellectual and cultural life of the Bay Area healthy...").

At its worst, is this last example 'classist' and/or 'elitist'? I guess it could be; I don't hear it that way. But I guess I can see how someone could smell that. Especially if that's the magnifying glass you use. In other words, I tend to think people arrive at that assessment IF THAT'S THE WORLDVIEW YOU USE, the prior model or analog you tend to use in analyzing social and cultural phenomena.

And I get how that happens. I can understand since race and music is the research and career focus of MOI's life how the lenses we use to refract and understand our work becomes the lenses we use to refract and understand our world. I'm guilty as charged - my career and teaching focus in business is typically the first arrow I pull from my quiver to look at an event, a news story or a challenge.

Where I choose to pause is in assigning motives to people (or whole swaths of people) absent their own comments on why they made certain choices.

All that being said, if MOI's copious research in race and music provided evidence of such commentary, I understand how he reached his conclusions.

I just haven't encountered it, and rather I've run across other sorts of reasons why my friends and acquaintances persist in their support of the arts here in my neck of the woods.

Tim
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 01:47 PM

Thanks for the input, Tim.

I can promise that the underlying point is not a case of "when all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." More a case of, once you discover your own worldview has been either wrong or incomplete, tracking down the "rest of the story" becomes an obsession for some. I'm one of those.

In other words, it wasn't, "topic first then conclusion." It was a mind-opening discovery (in my case regarding our utterly incorrect understanding of the development of the blues), then a commitment to keep going deeper (which led to enrolling in the doctoral program). If you keep asking "why," you get to some interesting places.

More via messenger if you wish or after teaching.
Posted by: Ockeghem

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 01:58 PM

O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen
und freudenvollere!

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlischer, Dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo Dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
(u.s.w)

This passage actually has a lot to do with racism...but not with condoning it.
Posted by: David Emm

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 02:44 PM

This thread is the whiteist thing I've seen since John Denver died.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 02:55 PM

[i][/i]
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Thanks for the input, Tim.

I can promise that the underlying point is not a case of "when all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." More a case of, once you discover your own worldview has been either wrong or incomplete, tracking down the "rest of the story" becomes an obsession for some. I'm one of those.


My world view is music, separated from the proposed (by often pompous academics) opinions of others; is how I roll. I do not care nor think about the social conditions that were in play, when I hear Bach or Charlie Parker. Music lifts ignorant men ( whether educated or not) out of their fashionable theories and into another world. Or maybe I should rephrase that last sentence ... Music lifts the Composers and artists out of their opinions while they are focussed on The Music Itself.
The current trends in academia are revolting to me... and I cannot help but think that those ideas found today in academia seep into the minds of appreciators of the Music.
I entirely reject the academics abstruse ideas... for me, it is soully the Music. Aka the thing itself.
I NEED Classical Music. period.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 04:28 PM

IMRT, I am not sure why you feel the need to paint the entire field of "academics" with the same brush, nor what you are referring to as the "current" trends in academia, but I can promise you that most of the people I have met either coming through the program or on faculty have an expansive, almost boundless love of music. Fanboys and fangirls supreme. In our department are literally some of the world's premiere players and composers--people I knew about as gods and legends back in NY before I ever even considered another degree. Pulitzer winners and MacArthur Genius recipients. Founding members of the AACM. Jazz legends. Guys who play Lincoln Center. A two-time Grammy winner. These guys don't relinquish their talent, career, and fanatical love, when they take a job at a university. They just get health insurance for it.

Yeesh. As you have been known to say: "Lighten up, Francis."
Posted by: GovernorSilver

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Book Link

This is a short read, a bit annoying at times, repetitive but still well worth it imo. Some will like it, some won't. I'm finding that it answers a number of questions for me personally including why I find myself at odds and so annoyed with the general concert/show going experience (it's not you, it's me freak). That and the concept of music's purposes and challenging the idea that "valid" music comes down to our subjective tastes.






Thanks, Mark! Added to my Amazon shopping list.

I've got a good friend who alerts me whenever there's a Mahler symphony performance coming up and teaches me a bit about it. I've seen 3 with him now, the first one being #6 which is the one with the hammer. That's still my favorite show so far, because of the hammer. We've also gone to shows at Library of Congress where the classical programming has been adventurous. That's where I caught performances of Messaien's Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus, Ethel String Quartet, Arditti Quartet playing Beethoven's more avant-sounding quartets, John Cage stuff, etc.

When I was younger I didn't understand why some jazz musos included classical music in their personal practice, but I think I get it a little more now.

Ever watch Mozart in the Jungle? The RIkers Island episode was aweome imo.

One of the weirder depictions of classical composers I've seen - weirder than the Bill & Ted movies:

Posted by: CowboyNQ

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 06:15 PM

Originally Posted By: GovernorSilver
One of the weirder depictions of classical composers I've seen - weirder than the Bill & Ted movies:

My copy of the book is en route as we speak.

Assuming it navigates its way to the Antipodes safely after being buffeted by the wind and/or the waves (apologies Edward Gibbon), I'm going to be massively disappointed if it doesn't play out pretty much exactly like that Anime clip.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 07:43 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
IMRT, I am not sure why you feel the need to paint the entire field of "academics" with the same brush, nor what you are referring to as the "current" trends in academia, but I can promise you that most of the people I have met either coming through the program or on faculty have an expansive, almost boundless love of music. Fanboys and fangirls supreme. In our department are literally some of the world's premiere players and composers--people I knew about as gods and legends back in NY before I ever even considered another degree. Pulitzer winners and MacArthur Genius recipients. Founding members of the AACM. Jazz legends. Guys who play Lincoln Center. A two-time Grammy winner. These guys don't relinquish their talent, career, and fanatical love, when they take a job at a university. They just get health insurance for it.

Yeesh. As you have been known to say: "Lighten up, Francis."


Dear Sergeant Hulka, I am not lightening up. Cold dead hands is more apt. The fact you are oblivious to what I am referring to in academia is an indicator of your Archie Bunker blinders. The topic is verbotten here, and has nothing to do with keyboards.
Posted by: Tom Williams

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 08:10 PM

I try keep my vulgarities offline, but in the case of this whole "whiteness of classical music" thread I feel compelled to call bullshit.

If I write any more I fear will descend rather quickly into ad hominems against those with whom I disagree.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
I try keep my vulgarities offline, but in the case of this whole "whiteness of classical music" thread I feel compelled to call bullshit.

If I write any more I fear will descend rather quickly into ad hominems against those with whom I disagree.


Didn't you already call me stupid, or something similar?

That is not a good encapsulization of the position I described, nor a thing I think or know. But the fact that it prompts this kind of reaction in otherwise-friends, suggests there is at least an element worth asking about in there. No?
Posted by: Tom Williams

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Didn't you already call me stupid, or something similar?
Only hypothetically, since I obviously wasn't in the room full of friends at the time. (Okay, mea culpa, I would have called you stupid had I been there. Please accept my hypothetical apology. smile )

In this later post, I wasn't referring to your rhetoric so much as that of a later poster who posited that dressing up nicely to perform in an orchestra is somehow indicative of Caucasian bigotry.
Posted by: ChiefDanG

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/11/19 08:47 PM

Who needs classical music?
Everybody. I hope it's around as long as the human race.


Now, back to our show - as a man stuck in the past trades insults with a man in an ivory tower, and all trying to get the whole thread deleted.

Anybody ever like classical themes worked into pop songs? I thought ELO's Roll Over Beethoven was clever and entertaining . And what was the fast-paced Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring ? Something like Appollo 99 ?
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 05:06 AM

Originally Posted By: timwat
I'm not familiar with the term "dynamic projection" apart from mapping, but have heard of the principle of 'projection' in psychology (loosely defined, a defense mechanism of refusing certain negative attributes in yourself while attributing them to others). Perhaps we're talking about the same thing.

Tim


Yes, Tim, you are correct. We are talking about the same thing here.

I really appreciate your thoughtful response as well as your posts in general.
Posted by: BluMunk

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
I wasn't referring to your rhetoric so much as that of a later poster who posited that dressing up nicely to perform in an orchestra is somehow indicative of Caucasian bigotry.



Why do you insist, like others, on putting words in my mouth that I did not say (type)?

The requirement to spend money on an expensive uniform in order to get access to an education in classical music is a barrier to access that has nothing to do with the music itself, but with the institutions that provide a home for most classical music education and performance around the world. I think that's more about classism than racism (though those two are certainly intertwined in most circumstances).

I am a scholarship judge for high school pianists, and I am required to rank them lower if they don't dress "appropriately". I find that requirement distasteful. Someone might play less well than someone else but win the scholarship because of their respective outfit choices.

But at any rate, I'm outta this thread. I'm a little sick of having to argue out of positions I did not take, and I'm disheartened that for many here disagreement on this issue so quickly took the form of name-calling. Why "I couldn't disagree more" wasn't enough, I'm not sure.
Posted by: Markay

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 06:09 AM

Anyone reading this thread would think that music started in Europe 400 years ago.

Having visited central Australia and experienced first Australians performing their music, on their instruments, music about the the land we were sitting on, originally composed 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, a very moving experience for me, makes this debate seem like a discussion about who did what to whom last week.
Posted by: Wastrel

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 07:06 AM

Originally Posted By: ChiefDanG

Now, back to our show - as a man stuck in the past trades insults with a man in an ivory tower, and all trying to get the whole thread deleted.

I think it's fascinating to watch otherwise reasonable people resolutely missing each other's points...
Fight on!
Posted by: ProfD

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 07:50 AM

I definitely understand MOI's perspective. It's a tough pill to swallow. Even he know it's a proverbial can of worms.

As evidenced by the course of this thread, there is a reason politics and religion are off limits.

There are some harsh realities human beings would rather not address. We'll get there eventually.

In the meantime, listen to whatever music floats your boat. When time permits, check the history. cool
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: ProfD
In the meantime, listen to whatever music floats your boat.


thu

Posted by: J_tour

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 10:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: ProfD
In the meantime, listen to whatever music floats your boat.


thu



If it can be improvised by musicians, or reproduced by apprentices, or, in the very rare cases of some eccentric composers who have no knowledge of tradition, then, yes, one should get the music one deserves.

There is not a single good musician or composer in the world who is incapable of improvising.

That's one of the best reasons to listen to Western art music — to see how it is possible to create and to work within the tradition.

If I'm wrong, I will go down on Boys in Sync personally on videotape.
Posted by: JerryA

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 11:02 AM

Originally Posted By: J_tour

There is not a single good musician or composer in the world who is incapable of improvising.


Personally, I like to think that many of the classical performers who say they "can't improvise" just a need a little taste of possibility. They perch trembling at the edge of the water like ducklings, unaware of the potential within themselves.

One reason I love listening to classical organ, it because at least in this one sphere, the ducklings dive in regularly, sometimes more, sometimes less. ...
Posted by: Marzzz

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 11:33 AM

Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: ChiefDanG

Now, back to our show - as a man stuck in the past trades insults with a man in an ivory tower, and all trying to get the whole thread deleted.

I think it's fascinating to watch otherwise reasonable people resolutely missing each other's points...
Fight on!


PM coming your way.
Posted by: Bobadohshe

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Markay
Anyone reading this thread would think that music started in Europe 400 years ago.

Having visited central Australia and experienced first Australians performing their music, on their instruments, music about the the land we were sitting on, originally composed 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, a very moving experience for me, makes this debate seem like a discussion about who did what to whom last week.


I'd say that's part of MOIs point.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 03:09 PM

Bobby , yes, "PART".
Posted by: J_tour

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/12/19 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: JerryA
Originally Posted By: J_tour

There is not a single good musician or composer in the world who is incapable of improvising.


Personally, I like to think that many of the classical performers who say they "can't improvise" just a need a little taste of possibility. They perch trembling at the edge of the water like ducklings, unaware of the potential within themselves.

One reason I love listening to classical organ, it because at least in this one sphere, the ducklings dive in regularly, sometimes more, sometimes less. ...


I fully agree.

If I had to guess, it's just a problem of education — it's hard to read and remember complicated music in the Western Art music tradition. But it's arguably harder to understand why or how some of the music sounds good.

And, no, I'm not claiming to be any better than anyone else. It's a goal to strive for, to become a good musician, rather than just copying fly-shit off a page.

Yes, it is funny that organists are expected to improvise, as a matter of course, and that pianists these days...well, they have their hands full just doing concert études and so on.

If I were to guess, it's same idea as what you said: just not enough hours in the day, and people get big applause for recreating various things

And in "classical" music, it's convenient: there's a lot of fantastic music, and no shortage of people who know how to play it.

I don't think it's irrelevant that there are a comparatively few number of interpreters who understand the music, though: I'd be shocked if anyone who understands the structure of a piece weren't able to at least make a little pastiche in the style of so-and-so composer.

Well, there's marketing and the big labels putting people out there, but that's another thing.

Hell, I can do it and I'm no good at "concert repertoire," beyond like ABRSM 8. It may suck, but a big ego and a willingness to try helps.
Posted by: d / halfnote

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/13/19 04:29 PM

Uh, "dlassical music" from, y'know, what culture ?
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 03:41 AM

^^^^^^^^^
this
Posted by: Outkaster

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 06:30 AM

Originally Posted By: J_tour
Originally Posted By: JerryA
Originally Posted By: J_tour

There is not a single good musician or composer in the world who is incapable of improvising.


Personally, I like to think that many of the classical performers who say they "can't improvise" just a need a little taste of possibility. They perch trembling at the edge of the water like ducklings, unaware of the potential within themselves.

One reason I love listening to classical organ, it because at least in this one sphere, the ducklings dive in regularly, sometimes more, sometimes less. ...


I fully agree.

If I had to guess, it's just a problem of education — it's hard to read and remember complicated music in the Western Art music tradition. But it's arguably harder to understand why or how some of the music sounds good.

And, no, I'm not claiming to be any better than anyone else. It's a goal to strive for, to become a good musician, rather than just copying fly-shit off a page.

Yes, it is funny that organists are expected to improvise, as a matter of course, and that pianists these days...well, they have their hands full just doing concert études and so on.

If I were to guess, it's same idea as what you said: just not enough hours in the day, and people get big applause for recreating various things

And in "classical" music, it's convenient: there's a lot of fantastic music, and no shortage of people who know how to play it.

I don't think it's irrelevant that there are a comparatively few number of interpreters who understand the music, though: I'd be shocked if anyone who understands the structure of a piece weren't able to at least make a little pastiche in the style of so-and-so composer.

Well, there's marketing and the big labels putting people out there, but that's another thing.

Hell, I can do it and I'm no good at "concert repertoire," beyond like ABRSM 8. It may suck, but a big ego and a willingness to try helps.


Sorry but I think some of that has to be inherent. We have one of the best musical schools here in the world locally and those classical students would be lost in a soul or reggae groove. It's just not what they do. They are practicing Rachmaninoff or Shostakovitch not dissecting why a Temptation song works or doesn't work. It's a totally different type of musician. It's a completely different world as I work at the University it's attached too. That music school's vibe is definitely kind of elitist.
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 06:45 AM

^^^^^^^thanks Jason!
my point EXACTLY
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 07:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Outkaster
. It's a totally different type of musician. It's a completely different world as I work at the University it's attached too. That music school's vibe is definitely kind of elitist.


Jason, this elitist attitude is prevalent in the European “Clasical” world. If you look at old issues of “The Etude” they are rife with articles on “Why Ragtime is Dangerous to your Piano Technique” etc. etc. ad nauseaum.

Posted by: MotiDave

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 11:56 AM

I was taught piano as a kid by learning classical pieces, but i long ago devolved to being a simple rocker. I'm now an old rocker. this thread, i'll tell ya, its really something else.

these cats are more elitist than those cats. These ones can't adapt like the others. and of course, these dudes love classical because of their neo-imperialist white male domination fetish. (thats my favorite sub-theme in the thread).

Being just an old rocker, i can tell you all of these sub-segments look down on me and my ilk. All i can add is that I'm very humored by the immense dense smug cloud collectively generated from this discussion - please continue.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 12:03 PM

May I borrow that unique turn of phrase Immense dense smug cloud collectively generated ? Excellent
Posted by: polo

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 12:10 PM

Can't we all just get along! smile
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 01:40 PM

Mozart was amazing at improv.

Posted by: Music Bird

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/14/19 01:45 PM

Not really a classical fan anymore as much as I used to, now I’m more pushing towards the replacement of orchestras, horn sections, and string sections by synthesizers and VSTs. To me, a song should have at least bass, guitar, drums, and keys mostly and maybe ethnic instruments.
Posted by: Markyboard

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/15/19 07:17 AM

Well I'm back for Forum Friday and pretty much the response I expected. Did anyone read the book yet? Because it addresses all this stuff and imo does it very well. You may be surprised how much the author agrees with many of the points here. But wait...there's more although I won't try to regurgitate any of my new found revelations or "aha" moments (there are plenty to be had). As I stated last time this book is not focused on musicians but on listeners of all kinds of music. Doesn't matter whether you grew up on classical music or play it currently; or if you're open to and value all kinds of music (including classical); or if your community has a large hand in supporting these type of arts. Btw the book could have easily been titled "Who Needs Art" ? (Cue Synthoid snax )

I tend to continually reinforce my own opinions with these type subjects, over and over and over. You may as well. Sometimes you need something to really shake up your deeply ingrained thinking. I don't think discussing it here is really going to change anyone's current thinking, and not saying that's the goal here. But reading the book just may...or not.
Btw I wasn't looking for this type of book, just happened to recently stumble upon it in a used book store.I only paid $5 for the book so count me out of the elitist book reader club. PianoBanana
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/15/19 07:20 AM

Who needs pizza? grin
Posted by: JerryA

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/15/19 08:12 AM

This conversation has been thought provoking and interesting on many levels for me. Thanks to Mark for bringing it up. And to MOI for an interesting idea. I like to think that we can all carry more than one idea with us. I'm not trying to score points in an argument, but to add texture to our conversation. May I share a couple of personal vignettes?

My grandmother played classical organ in church in one of the British colonies and met my grandfather because he sought her out after hearing her play. He had been living in a different British colony. It's a beautiful love story for my family about how he courted her, swept her off her feet and took her to a country she didn't know. Lest you think that puts me in "all hail European music" camp how about a second story?

She used to love to sing with gusto, a song she was taught in school under colonial rule ... "Rule Brittania! Brittania rule the waves! Britons never never never shall be slaves." That song was written while the triangular trade (in slaves!) was still under way. You can imagine how wrecked I feel about that song and the mindshare it had with my grandmother.

I still love all kinds of music but perhaps Crazy Jane was right?

"Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement; For nothing can be sole or whole That has not been rent."
Posted by: realtrance

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/15/19 08:21 AM

Schoenberg.
Posted by: Markyboard

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/15/19 09:09 AM

Originally Posted By: realtrance
Schoenberg.


Yup, modern classical addressed.
Posted by: GovernorSilver

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/16/19 08:44 AM

Plenty of modern classical after Schoenberg. Thanks to this thread, I'm going to revisit this CD, if I can find it:

https://www.amazon.com/Asmat-Dream-Music-Indonesia-Sunda/dp/B0000022AA/ref=ntt_mus_dp_dpt_1

Indonesia was a former European colony but gamelan is said to have influenced some European composers from Debussy onwards. It's fitting that somebody produced this album featuring Indonesian composers doing their thing, and also incorporating modern tech such as synths and samplers.
Posted by: GovernorSilver

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/16/19 08:45 AM

Another modern classical composer, though tragically passed away at a young age. Seems to be rediscovered by the contemporary classical community every few years. Being black and gay kept him kind of tucked away in obscurity.

https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/02/05/julius-eastman-music
Posted by: PianoMan51

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/16/19 09:24 PM

I’ll try my own answer to the original question.

Yes, all humans need exposure to the classical arts: music, dance, sculpture, religion, painting, architecture, theater, poetry, literature, etc.

From multiple cultures.

This is the ocean in which our spirits swim.

Feed your head. But remember you can only lead a horse to water. Respect the horse’s choice to drink or not.
Posted by: I-missRichardTee

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/18/19 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
I’ll try my own answer to the original question.

Yes, all humans need exposure to the classical arts: music, dance, sculpture, religion, painting, architecture, theater, poetry, literature, etc.

From multiple cultures.

This is the ocean in which our spirits swim.

Feed your head. But remember you can only lead a horse to water. Respect the horse’s choice to drink or not.


like
Posted by: re Pete

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/19/19 05:26 AM

Mozart in the Jungle by Blair Tindall was an interesting book on classical scene. Not sure how it relates to this thread, don't have time to read it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv8AmiIF4C4
Posted by: CowboyNQ

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/24/19 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Markyboard
This is a short read, a bit annoying at times, repetitive but still well worth it imo. Some will like it, some won't.

My copy has arrived today!

Early impressions:

1. The author is (unsurprisingly) a true believer in classical music.
2. The author is less passionate about the use of paragraphs.

We shall battle on, regardless!
Posted by: JerryA

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/28/19 06:40 AM

There have been some excellent points made about improvisation, and since I began a conversation with a concert pianist recently about why "many classical musicians can't improvise today and popular musicians can", I had to do a little research. This is what I found ...

The difference between jazz and classical is the pedagogy, not the people. In the galant period (end of baroque, beginning of classical), a number of devices such as Partimenti were utilized extensively to provide improvisation frameworks, learned in apprentice fashion, just like in jazz. It’s a middle ground between musical theory and musical performance, because it is internalized (like driving a car), just as jazz licks, scales and patterns are. Galant schemata are quite detailed. and seemed to have begun at Naples and migrated elsewhere.

With the rise of formal theory in late 19th century conservatories, these tools became less internalized, and classical musicians began to lose the ability to 'jam". Recent research has rediscovered and implemented these tools. Rudolf Lutz and Bob Gjerdingen are key figures in this movement. One young student who has been taught partimenti is here improvising with her teacher on Skype:



To me, Jazz is America's classical music hailing from New Orleans in the late 1800s. Her vocabulary has influenced, pop, rock, gospel and a host of musical traditions. Her cousin is the discipline of Partimenti, hailing from Naples in the late 1600s. Her vocabulary has influenced baroque, classical and other European traditions. They are both awesome. love
Posted by: BluMunk

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/28/19 07:07 AM

Originally Posted By: JerryA
The difference between jazz and classical is the pedagogy, not the people.


Sometimes you read something both obvious and mind-expanding. This rocked my morning JerryA; thanks for doing the research and digging that knowledge up!

Of course it makes total sense that classical forms and techniques can be understood, internalized, and used for improv just as we're familiar doing in jazz or other more contemporary idioms, and it amazes me that I've never had a teacher or been in a classical learning environment where anyone even mentioned such a thing.
Posted by: jimkost2002

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/28/19 07:36 AM

Thanks Jerry!
Robert Levin is also a great source.
He improvises his own cadenzas spontaneously in his Mozart concerto performances.
Posted by: PianoMan51

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/28/19 11:46 AM

To appreciate the similarities between what a keyboard player in the Baroque era and in the Jazz era were doing, compare a figured bass chart with a real book lead sheet.
Posted by: MathOfInsects

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? - 02/28/19 01:37 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
To appreciate the similarities between what a keyboard player in the Baroque era and in the Jazz era were doing, compare a figured bass chart with a real book lead sheet.



Completely. I use this exact analogy when introducing Figured Bass.